If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What I mean by that is I’ve introduced these CFB columns in a similar way, and since we’re in the home stretch of the regular season, why stop now?
It’s Week 12 (Week 13 if counting Week 0) with the finish line in sight as we’re just a week before Thanksgiving and then followed by Championship Week.
As mentioned in Wednesday’s NFL “takes” column, we had our best weekend of the season overall with both college and pro football (except for being eliminated from Circa Survivor).
In this CFB piece, we went 3-1 ATS with Coastal Carolina (+2) upsetting Texas State 31-23, Duke (+14.5) covering a 47-45 OT loss vs. North Carolina and Utah (+9.5) covering a 35-28 loss vs. Washington. The loss was on Minnesota (+1) in a 49-30 loss vs. Purdue (we hope some followers took our “dog-or-pass” advice and passed when the Golden Gophers moved to favoritism, but we have to grade it as a loss here).
For the season, we stand at 23-17-2 (57.5%) for a net profit of 4.3 units based on laying the standard -110. And regular readers know that doesn’t even include the four straight weeks we’ve had the last game we’ve dropped from this column also win. Last Saturday, we threw in a bonus play on Appalachian State +2.5, and the Mountaineers rolled Georgia State 42-14.
Let’s get to this weekend’s college football slate.
The bloom is off the rose in Colorado as Deion Sanders’ team started hot, but is only 1-6 in Pac-12 play and 4-6 overall. The Buffaloes probably won’t even go bowling. However, Washington State has the same record in both conference play and overall. Hey, I love Cougars as much as the next guy, but Washington State is No. 103 in both total defense and scoring defense, so Colorado should be able to run the ball up the Wazzu and pull the minor outright upset.
The Runnin’ Rebels are 8-2 and one of the biggest surprises in college football (even more so here in Vegas). This game is actually for the lead in the Mountain West, as both teams are also 5-1 in conference play. Continuing our trend from last week (and in this column), this line should be a lot closer to pick ’em, and the only reason the market is favoring Air Force is because of the so-called home-field advantage. Besides, UNLV has a Top 20 scoring offense, while Air Force only scored 3 points in a 23-3 loss vs. Army two weeks ago and then lost 27-13 at Hawai’i last Saturday. I expect UNLV to roll to an easy victory here.
I know it’s only 1 point, but I’m also taking the short road dog here with the Utes (insert my patent-pending obligatory “Did you say yutes?” reference from Fred Gwynne as Judge Haller in My Cousin Vinny). Arizona is ranked No. 17 and Utah is No. 22, but I still regard Utah as the better overall team, even though it’s obviously close. Utah beat USC 34-32, while Arizona lost 43-41 in triple OT. We don’t feel biased just because we cashed on Utah +9.5 in their 35-28 loss at No. 5 Washington last Saturday, but we’re also encouraged by the fact that earlier this season, Arizona lost 31-24 at home vs. Washington. We expect Utah to go into Tucson and do the same.
This is another case where both teams are having disappointing seasons – both are 5-5 overall and also 3-4 and two games behind Iowa in the Big Ten East – but we love getting more than a field goal in an overall pick ’em game. Wisconsin is coming off a 24-10 home loss vs. Northwestern (so much for the Camp Randall home-field advantage) in which its defense allowed NU to convert 11-of-17 third-down conversions, so even Nebraska’s pedestrian offense should have some success even though the Cornhuskers have scored 17 points or fewer in three of their last four games. Because of the two inept offenses, the Over/Under is only 37 points, which makes every point more valuable and makes this a stronger play.
Tuley Noted: The four prior weeks, the last game I’ve dropped from this column has covered, so this week, that play would have been Southern Mississippi +14 at Mississippi State. Do with that what you will.